Dominican Republic, July 27, 2017 – Santo Domingo –
While countries like Turks and Caicos and The Bahamas are dealing with the problem of illegal Haitian migrants, the Dominican Republic on Tuesday granted a one-year extension to some 230,000 Haitian migrants trying to renew or obtain residency permits, an issue that has been a constant problem between the neighboring countries.
The residency plan was created after a court ruled in 2013 that children born in the Dominican Republic to non-citizens did not qualify for automatic citizenship because their migrant parents were “in transit.” The vast majority of those affected have been descendants of Haitian migrants.
Without the extension announced on Tuesday, more than 220,000 Haitian migrants could have faced deportation. William Charpentier, the leader of a migrant support group, praised the government’s decision but also accused authorities of deporting more than 100 Haitian migrants in recent weeks even though they had provisional permits to stay in the Dominican Republic.
Some 7,000 migrants have completed all requirements under the government’s residency plan.